India went down to New Zealand by 18 runs in the 2019 World Cup semi-finals at Old Trafford in Manchester. Chasing 240, India found themselves in complete disdain at 5 for 3 and although they recovered thanks to a brilliant partnership between Ravindra Jadeja and MS Dhoni, it was not enough in the end.
The effort was very much like the 2017 Champions Trophy, when India reached the summit clash rather easily only to crumble in the end. The resemblance however does not end there. Here are five shocking similarities between India’s World Cup 2019 semi-final match and the 2017 Champions Trophy final.
Rohit Sharma’s early departure: Both the matches saw Rohit Sharma falling early in the chase, which set India back. Yesterday, Sharma, after a record five World Cup tons, managed only 1 from 4 before being caught behind off Matt Henry. In the Champions Trophy final, he was dismissed for a three-ball duck, trapped lbw by Mohammad Amir. His great record notwithstanding, he will have to perform in knockout games.
Virat Kohli falling to left-arm pacer: Does the Indian skipper have a weakness against left-arm seamers? His record in big knockout matches indicates so. Amir had him caught for 5 in the Champions Trophy final, very next ball after he was dropped flirting outside the off stump. On Wednesday at Manchester, Trent Boult got through his otherwise solid defence, trapping him leg before for 1 from 6 balls. For the record, Kohli was dismissed for 1 by another left-arm pacer Mitchell Johnson in the 2015 World Cup semi-final.
Jadeja does a Pandya: If Hardik Pandya blasted 76 from 43 balls to try and attack the team out of trouble at The Oval, Ravindra Jadeja hit a brilliant 77 from 59 balls in his endeavour to rescue India’s sinking ship at Manchester. Both the efforts though sensational were in vain. There’s another interesting Jadeja-Pandya connection in the point below.
Crucial run out: Both the matches saw a run out that had a big impact on the final outcome of the clash. MS Dhoni was brilliantly run out by Martin Guptill for 50 as he tried to farm the strike in the closing moments of the semi-final. In the CT final, Pandya was run out just when fans were beginning to hope that he could pull off a miracle for India. Ironically, it was a terrible mix-up with Jadeja that brought about Pandya’s dismissal in that match.
No ball factor: Although Dhoni’s run-out was a brilliant one, controversy emerged after videos started doing the rounds on social media, claiming there were six fielders outside the 30-yard circle in the third powerplay when the rule says only five are allowed. If that was indeed the case, the delivery should have been a no ball, and Dhoni might then have not scampered back for a second and instead may have waited for the free hit. No ball hurt India in a massive manner in the CT final as well. Jasprit Bumrah had induced an edge off Fakhar Zaman when he was on three. Replays showed Bumrah had overstepped. Taking full advantage of the reprieve, Zaman went on to score a hundred, batting India out of the final.